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Further Reading

There are many texts available to help you learn Python or refine your Python knowledge, from introductory texts all the way to quite formal language descriptions.

We recommend the following books for general information about Python:

  • Learning Python, by Mark Lutz and David Ascher (O'Reilly), is a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of the Python language.

  • Python Standard Library, by Fredrik Lundh (O'Reilly), provides a use case for each module in the rich library that comes with every standard Python distribution.

  • Programming Python, by Mark Lutz (O'Reilly), is a thorough rundown of Python programming techniques.

  • The forthcoming Python in a Nutshell, by Alex Martelli (O'Reilly), is a comprehensive quick reference to the Python language and the key libraries used by most Python programmers.

  • Python Essential Reference, by David Beazley (New Riders), is a quick reference that focuses on the Python language and the core Python libraries.

In addition, there are a few more special-purpose books that help you explore particular aspects of Python programming:

  • Python & XML, by Christopher A. Jones and Fred L. Drake, Jr. (O'Reilly), covers everything there is to know about how to use Python to read, process, and transform XML.

  • Jython Essentials, by Samuele Pedroni and Noel Rappin (O'Reilly), is the authoritative book on Jython, the port of Python to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

  • Python Web Programming, by Steve Holden (New Riders), covers building networked systems using Python.

In addition to these books, there are other important sources of information that can help explain some of the code in the recipes in this book. We've pointed out the information that seemed particularly relevant in the "See Also" sections of each recipe. In these sections, we often refer to the standard Python documentation: the Library Reference, the Reference Manual, and occasionally the Tutorial. This documentation is available in a variety of media:

  • On the python.org web site (at http://www.python.org/doc/), which always contains the most up-to-date, if sometimes dry, description of the language.

  • In Python itself. Recent versions of Python boast a nice online help system, which is worth exploring if you've never used it. Just type help( ) at the interactive prompt to start exploring.

  • As part of the online help in your Python installation. ActivePython's installer, for example, includes a searchable Windows Help file. The standard Python distribution currently includes HTML pages, but there are plans to include a similar Windows Help file in future releases.

Note that we have not included section numbers in our references to the standard Python documentation, since the organization of these manuals can change from release to release. You should be able to use the table of contents and indexes to find the relevant material.

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